Two days later, during breakfast in the Great Hall, as owls flew in, as usual, to deliver letters from home to the young wizards and witches, an unexpected uproar erupted from the Gryffindor table, startling everyone in the hall.
“George! What have you and Fred done at Hogwarts this time?! Do you realize that their parents came to our house? Your father negotiated with them for three hours, and he promised to replace their wands before they left our home! Your sister is terrified!”
“And Fred! If you can’t control your brother, refrain from sharing those ridiculous ideas with him. Have some regard for—”
The loud commotion echoed throughout the Hogwarts dining hall, capturing students’ attention from all four houses.
Even those not originally interested in the Weasley twins couldn’t help but listen in.
Wentworth, who had never witnessed such a spectacle before, couldn’t help but inquire, “Is this a Howler? What did the twins do?”
Seated beside Wentworth, Green munched on a bag of French fries with relish.
He watched the scene unfold with amusement and, upon hearing Wentworth’s question, turned to explain, “I heard that last week, Fred conjured a simulated mouse and placed it under Angelina’s desk. During class, the sudden appearance of the mouse frightened Angelina. She panicked, waving her wand to drive it away and inadvertently broke her wand.”
Wentworth was taken aback by the revelation, thinking to himself, “I see… Older boys often do extravagant things to garner the attention of girls. If I recall correctly, George’s future wife is named Angelina, right? Angelina Johnson, that’s the name!”
Reflecting on this, Wentworth suspected that George might have orchestrated quite the prank.
However, at that moment, Wentworth heard his name mentioned in the Howler sent by Mrs. Weasley.
“You two rascals! Even if you can’t behave as well as your brother, you shouldn’t let yourselves be outdone by younger students! Have you seen the newspapers? You, first-year student at Hogwarts, Wentworth, is in the newspapers! The newspapers hail you as the most gifted wizard Hogwarts has seen in a thousand years! Look at yourselves!”
“Could you two at least save me some snacks…”
Behind the raging portion of the Howler, Mrs. Weasley’s gentle plea received little attention.
All eyes remained on Wentworth.
Even the Weasley brothers, who had been blushing from embarrassment, gazed at him in astonishment.
Wentworth muttered to himself with a bemused expression, “Have I become someone else’s child? But what did I do? I don’t remember any of this.”
Meanwhile, the Weasley twins, who had just weathered the storm of their Howler, regained their composure.
George Weasley casually tucked the Howler away on the table, acting as if nothing had happened.
He turned to his brother with a puzzled expression and said, “How did Mum find out Wentworth’s name? Did you tell her?”
Fred Weasley vigorously shook his head and retorted, “Impossible! I wouldn’t go out of my way to cause trouble for myself. Wait, did Mum say something about the newspapers? That’s peculiar. We never even read the Hogwarts textbooks, let alone the newspapers.”
With the excitement building around them, George noticed a newspaper inside the envelope sent by Mrs. Weasley. “Fred, it seems Mum has prepared something for us!”
The two brothers exchanged glances before hurriedly laying the newspaper out on the long table, eager to read it.
Seeing this, the young wizards and witches around them couldn’t contain their curiosity and crowded closer.
Even students from other houses gathered around the Gryffindor table.
Fred, attempting to maintain order, quickly stood up and raised his voice, “Please don’t push or crowd! You just want to know what’s in the newspaper, right? I’ll read it to you!”
Fred mounted a bench in the hall, cleared his throat, and announced, “The article is rather lengthy, so I’ll select a few key passages to share with you.”
“The Daily Prophet published an article a few days ago disparaging Albus Dumbledore, the greatest white wizard of all time! However, as far as this newspaper is aware, Dumbledore’s recent absence from Hogwarts was due to him providing special training to a young wizard at the school!”
“As for the reason behind this training? Allow this newspaper to introduce to you Wentworth, whom Dumbledore has hailed as the most gifted wizard at Hogwarts in a millennium!”
Horrified by the attention he was receiving, Wentworth buried his face in his hands, wishing he could disappear.
If it weren’t for Green restraining him, he might have given in to the urge to cast an invisibility spell on himself.
The embarrassment was unbearable.
Wentworth resolved to ask Professor Lupin to teach him the spell for earplugs at the earliest opportunity. He couldn’t fathom listening to more of this.
On the other side, Fred, who was reading aloud, grew increasingly delighted with each word.
He had completely forgotten about the Howler they had just received. He continued reading the newspaper with an air of pride.
“So, Dumbledore’s recent absence was not due to any sinister plot, and he certainly isn’t a mysterious wizard concocted by nefarious newspapers and journalists!”
“As the Headmaster of Hogwarts and the greatest white wizard in history, Dumbledore has been cultivating a true heir for himself! An heir who can shoulder the responsibility of upholding the magical world’s legacy in the future!”
“Dumbledore turned down the opportunity to become Minister of Magic for this very reason; he had yet to find a suitable candidate until this year, when Wentworth arrived at Hogwarts, Dumbledore finally discovered the heir he had been searching for!”
Having surrendered to his fate, Wentworth allowed the gazes of all the Hogwarts students to fall upon him. He comforted himself with the thought, “Well, at least the newspaper said I’m fantastic!”
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